You have one end goal when sending your resume to a principal: Get the job.
But, unless your resume is a step above the rest in quality, you may have a difficult time reaching your goal.
If you are not careful and do not give your resume considerable thought, you may end up showing a potential employer your weaknesses rather than your strengths.
First impressions are everything, but how do you ensure this first look that you’re providing principals with leaves the impression you want?
Here are some tips to keep in mind as you draft your resume so that you can land the teaching job of your dreams.
Check Out Teacher Resume Examples
One of the first things you should do when drafting a resume is to check out resume examples so that you can get an idea of what style works best for highlighting what you have to offer a school.
There are different types of resumes you can construct, from chronological to functional. Although two different types of resumes might have the same information included, depending on the format, that information may be presented in two different ways.
For example, in a chronological resume, you format your experiences in order, with the most recent experience listed first. This is often the most common type of resume employers see.
A functional resume, on the other hand, might be more useful if you have different types of experience you wish to highlight. For example, if you are applying to become a science teacher, you may organize your resume with two subheads under the “Experience” section if you have both teaching experience and work history of being employed in a laboratory.
The Cawley Career Education Center at Georgetown University offers examples of both of these types of resumes.
You can also check out our web page on teacher resumes to get an in-depth look at how to write your resume and get free downloadable teacher resume templates.
Open With A Powerful Statement
Looking through sample resumes, you’ll notice that no matter the format, the best examples all have one feature in common: a powerful opener.
Whether it’s titled “about me,” “profile,” “objective,” “summary” or something else similar, it’s important to provide an attention-grabbing introduction. After all, studies have shown hiring managers take an average of just 6 seconds to decide whether to put your resume in the “keep pile.”
If you have a lot of experience, a resume summary statement will help you tie together an overall theme for your work. It’s also perfect for someone who is changing careers to education because it allows the applicant to highlight accomplishments from a previous career that would be relevant to your new teaching career.
A resume objective statement is another option that may be better suited for your work experiences. In just a few sentences, you let the principal know:
Who you are
What you want
What you bring to the table
Either way, make sure you keep both succinct, not too general (avoid “team player”), punchy and tailored to the specific job listing.
Tailor Your Experience To The Job
Just like how you should tailor your opening statement to the specific job listing, you should also tailor the rest of your resume.
That doesn’t mean everything on your resume has to be an educator job. It does mean, however, that you should show how whatever experience you do have can positively impact or translate into the classroom.
For example, in the experience section, include schools and dates in which you taught, as well as a list of accomplishments that are relevant to the new position you are seeking. If you’re applying for an elementary school teacher position, emphasize experience working in an elementary classroom or with elementary-aged children.
Don’t forget to include any substitute teaching experience you have as well. As a substitute teacher, you gain valuable knowledge of how a classroom works and is structured, and this should not be overlooked.
Even experience outside the classroom can be relevant to the position you are seeking. Examples include:
Camp counselor positions
Music lesson teaching
Coaching kids on ways to improve test scores
Just make sure whatever professional experience you include in the resume has relevance to what you will be doing as an educator, whether it’s classroom management, lesson plans, working one-on-one with kids or overseeing the welfare of multiple children.
Follow This Checklist
After pouring your blood, sweat, and tears into your resume, it’s important to look through it one more time and double-check a few things.
Did you …
Use an active voice? Incorporate action words throughout, like “collaborated,” “created,” “motivated” or “developed.”
List accomplishments - not duties? Accomplishments show how you go above your duties as a teacher. Be as specific as possible.
Proofread? Even teachers make mistakes. Make sure you use perfect grammar and punctuation and have someone else take a look at your resume before you send it to a principal.
Pick a style? Use the same voice and style throughout your resume. This includes using the same font. You want to give the impression that you’re organized.
Include all your certifications and education? Include the name and location of the institution, your degree and year of the degree, and any relevant certifications or minors. If you received your certification separate from your bachelor’s degree, such as through ECAP, include this as well.
Use a professional email? It’s easy to overlook, but if your email is cuter (ex. KathyLuvsKittyKats@hotmail.com) and less professional, it might not make a great first impression.
First impressions are influenced by a number of factors, but when your only opportunity to make a first impression is through a resume, it’s critical that it stands out for all the right reasons.
Micah is the Director of Curriculum & Technology. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in British Literature, from the University of North Texas and a Master of Arts in Teaching, from Louisiana College. In his previous career, Micah served for 14 years as a banker and bank manager. For the majority of this period, Micah managed the Downtown Fort Worth location of Frost Bank.
In 2005, Micah finally surrendered to his true calling to be an educator. After a brief, but fulfilling term teaching high school English at Flower Mound High School in Lewisville ISD, Micah went to work for the family business, training teachers.
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